CREST for underrepresented audiences funding

CREST for underrepresented audiences funding

This grant round is now CLOSED

If registration and support costs are a barrier to running CREST, grants of up to £300 (plus voucher codes to cover the cost of CREST award fees) are available to support and enable schools and organisations to run CREST Awards with young people underrepresented in STEM.

Our recent research into the impact of CREST Silver shows the benefits of CREST are even more significant for disadvantaged students:
  • CREST Silver students eligible for free school meals saw an increase in their best science GCSE score (two thirds of a grade) compared to a matched control group;
  • Students who were eligible for free school meals and took part in a CREST Silver Award were 38% more likely to take a STEM subject at AS Level than the matched control group.
How much can I apply for?
Applicants can request up to £600 total towards running CREST awards, this breaks down into two categories:
  • Up to £300 to cover CREST registration fees (you can find registration costs here)
  • Up to £300 to spend on support costs for running the Awards, such as CPD for school staff, supply teacher cover, CREST link schemes or a delivery partner, consumables or equipment.
CLOSED: Applications for this round of funding have now closed. We are unable to accept late applications. 

Find out how we use your data here.

Eligibility criteria:
• You are applying on behalf of a school or organisation to run CREST Awards in the United Kingdom
• Participating students will be aged 5-19 years
• Your Award(s) will be completed by 31 July 2022

In addition, awards will be given to schools that can be described as one or more of the following:
• In England, you have 30% of pupils, or above, that are eligible for pupil premium 
• In Wales, you have 30% of pupils, or above, eligible for free school meals according to the Welsh Pupil Deprivation Grant school allocations
• In Scotland, over 30% of pupils living in the top 20% most deprived areas according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation
• In Northern Ireland, 30% of pupils eligible for free school meals
• Your school has a high proportion of pupils (over 30%) who are from minority ethnic backgrounds*; 
• You are a small school based in a remote and rural location with a rural postcode**

*Minority ethnic backgrounds include all pupils who don’t self-describe as White British. It includes Irish, except in Northern Ireland.

**In a postcode listed as any type of “Rural” area under their government’s Rural Urban classification system. You can look up the Area Type for any UK postcode at

Selection criteria:
To further broaden the reach of the CREST Awards for under-represented audiences the following additional criteria will be taken into account when assessing grant applications. Preference will be given to:
  1. Proposed engagement with students in lower ability or mixed ability science sets.
  2. Proposed activities which are cross curricular or involve collaboration between science and another subject area, particularly if it is outside STEM (e.g. history, art, music).
  3. Engagement that includes whole year groups or whole classes.
  4. Engagement with students in non-traditional science contexts including out of school clubs which have a wider remit than just science.

We aim for a broad geographical spread of grant funded events and we may prioritise grants from one region over another if necessary to achieve this. 

Tips for applying for CREST grants 

In order to write the best possible application for the CREST URA grant scheme, we would recommend that you consider the following:  

  1. How you will use this funding to reach students that do not typically engage in STEM subjects. This may include all genders, ethnicities, students who are eligible for Pupil Premium, or who have special educational needs or disabilities. 
  2. When the project work will take place and whether participation is voluntarily or compulsory. 
  3. Which of the four priority areas above your project will focus on (it doesn’t need to meet all of these). 
  4. The level(s) of CREST Award is most appropriate and how many students you expect to participate 

What type of CREST project could you support? 

We invite you to browse through our free CREST project resources and challenge packs for inspiration. They incorporate a range of science activities and experiments ranging across numerous themes to suit varying skills and age groups.  

For Star and Superstar challenges (ages 5-11)

For Discovery challenges (ages 10-14)

Bronze, Silver and Gold Secondary project briefs (ages 11+)


You can also come up with your own project ideas; these could be linked to a curriculum theme, a local issue or other student interests. 


What can the grant money be spent on? 

  1. Grant money can be used for resources to support the CREST Award projects. These could be consumables, equipment, field trips, speakers or other costs of activities. 
  2. Grants can be used for supply costs and CPD directly linked to the CREST Awards project. 
  3. Grant money cannot be spent on salary costs, and costs that are already covered by other funding.  

What will we ask for in your application? 

You will need to complete the final application using the online form. We will not accept applications sent as email attachments. 

You will be asked to provide the following information in your application: 

  1. A brief description of the CREST activity you are proposing to run 
  2. How you will ensure disadvantaged young people are encouraged to participate 
  3. How much money you are applying for (maximum £300 for resources); 
  4. Details about what the funding will be used for.                                                           
  5. The number of students you will run the Awards with? If you do not know exact numbers, please provide an estimate – this will be used to calculate the amount you receive for CREST Award fees. 
  6. Details of the organisation bank account into which the grant will be paid at the time of applying for the grant including the account name, number and sort code. Providing your account details at this stage allows us to pay successful applicants immediately, so you can start your project promptly. 

Financial information is stored on a secure cloud-based service and will only be used to pay successful grant applicants. Unused details will be deleted. Providing your account details at this stage allows us to pay successful grant applicants immediately, making it easier to organise events. 

Please note, if the bank details supplied in your application are incorrect, this will significantly delay the payment of your grant and may result in the grant being withdrawn. Please ensure that you have the correct bank account details before applying. These should be the school/organisation bank details unless otherwise specified.  

Deadlines and payments 

The deadline for applications is: 


Round 1: CLOSED

Round 2: CLOSED


Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email. If successful, payment of the grant will be made directly into the nominated bank account. 


Conditions of the grant 


By applying for the grant, you are agreeing to the following conditions: 

  • You must use the grant to support CREST Award projects which should be completed by 31 July 2022. 

  • You must enter students for CREST Awards using the voucher code by 31 July 2022. 

  • You must complete an online teacher feedback survey (provided by the British Science Association) both before and after the project. 

  • You must enable students to complete an online feedback form (provided by the British Science Association) before and after the project. 

  • UKRI and the British Science Association must be correctly acknowledged in any press releases (please contact the British Science Association for additional information). 

  • The project must be STEM related. 

  • All projects, surveys and submissions must be completed by 31 July 2022.  


If for whatever reason you are not able to use your grant for CREST Awards the grant money will have to be returned to the British Science Association. We will use our online platform for CREST submissions and the feedback surveys to monitor whether projects have been completed. 

How to apply 
All applications should be made online via the CREST grant application form before the deadline. Please click here to access the application form. 

When completing the application form, please ensure that all email addresses, telephone numbers and bank account details given are correct. Any mistakes in these will delay payment of the grant. As we will communicate with you primarily by email, please ensure you give an email address that is checked regularly by the person who applies for the grant. 

We understand that this type of activity planning may be different or new to your remit of work. If so, do not hesitate to contact the British Science Week team if you have any questions regarding the application procedure or what type of activity might be suitable for your audience. Please email

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